Louisiana’s Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns met with the Louisiana State Police earlier in October to get an update on the necessary background investigations to launch sports betting in the state.
The first four sports betting licenses issued in the state
The licenses issued were deemed effective at 12:01 AM Sunday as Harrah’s in New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City opened their doors at 7:00 AM Sunday prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on the New Orleans Saints. Boomtown Casino in Harvey, L’Auberge Baton Rouge, will open their sportsbooks to the public at 4:00 PM Monday.
Johns stated that “It will be up to them if they take bets on Sunday if they are ready to do so.”
The four casinos were the first locations to complete their compliance reviews by the Louisiana State Police Gaming Division. There are nine other state-licensed riverboats and racinos that have applied to take sports wagers in the future. Harrah’s and Horseshoe are operated by Caesars, while Boomtown and L’Auberge are operated by Penn National Gaming.
Voters approved sports betting last year in 55 of 64 Louisiana Parishes. The nine locations where sports betting will not be permitted are Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll, and Winn.
The State Police have been working strenuously to review the applications of many properties that involve an array of procedures that include internal controls, audit procedures, and how bets will be paid out to the customers.
During the numerous postponements due to external factors like Hurricane Ida making landfall in the state, Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville has been taking sports wagers since October 6th since it’s owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe.
The specific location is not regulated by the state, which means they did not need Johns’ approval to take sports bets on their lands.
Mobile sports betting may take a long time to come to fruition as online sportsbooks, and other apps need to go through a full review process. Caesars launched their sports betting app last week but can only offer promotions to those that preregister on their platform.
It will most likely take until early 2022 before the state offers access to mobile sports betting. As of right now, State Police need to make sure that geofencing works smoothly. Geofencing will prevent residents from placing bets via mobile devices or computers for those users who live within the nine parishes that did not approve sports betting.
Former New Orleans quarterback Bobby Hebert makes the first bet in the state
Sports vetting officially kicked off in Louisiana when retired QB Bobby Hebert placed a $1,100 wager on his former team at 7:04 AM at the Harrah’s Casino. The spread was +4 for the Saints as they were facing the Buccaneers yesterday afternoon. Hebert confidentially stated, “I think for sure the Saints are going to cover, but we need a win.”
Tom Brady was able to throw four touchdowns in the game, but the Saints defense was able to force two turnovers. The Saints were able to overcome adversity as Jameis Winston was carted off the field after suffering an ACL injury.
Trevor Siemian took over at QB as the Saints beat the Buccaneers outright 36-27. Hebert’s winning ticket net a total payout of $2055.56 and donated his winnings to the Second Harvest Food Bank.